- Briefing Room
- Consumer Engagement
- Commerce 3.0
The second annual Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) FinTech Symposium brought together more than 200 senior executives, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists Wednesday in Atlanta. The forum focused heavily on innovation and reinforced the notion that significant innovation in financial services technology will be continual and critical, both now and for the foreseeable future.
Pete Kight, former CEO of CheckFree, was the event’s keynote speaker and 2011 winner of the TAG FinTech Lifetime Achievement Award. Kight challenged the group to think differently about the financial technology arena. During his lunchtime remarks, Kight shared a compelling point of view on the market dynamics in emerging financial services. Focusing on powerful new players - Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook - Kight painted a comprehensive picture of how these new players will become the power brokers of future innovation, even in financial services. Kight challenged symposium attendees to avoid “fatal assumptions,” telling them that the demise of credit card interchange, biometric authentication and electronic wallets are all inevitable.
“Just because it hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it isn’t inevitable,” Kight asserted.
These players each deliver personalized customer experiences, they each successfully obtain and store colossal amounts of customer data, and most importantly, they use that data and predictive analytics to deliver the customers “what they want when and how they want it,” according to Kight. As Kight eloquently put it, “they know more about me than my spouse.”
Near the end of his remarks, Kight challenged the audience to think about the fact that Google now has the full end-to-end package of requirements to be a great payments player. “They have their own operating system and platform, [and] they don’t have to pay extra to chip manufacturers, handset providers or carriers.” Kight went on to say that, “they don’t have to charge interchange.”
Kight’s presentation was book-ended by a number of presentations by FinTech innovators. The first session of the day on Monetization of Financial Data featured a panel with Scott Grimes of Cardlytics, Tom Burgess of Clovr Media, Tom Beecher of Cartera Commerce and Ed Braswell of EDO Interactive. In the afternoon, five more entrepreneurs took the stage in an “American Idol”-style panel featuring Ashish Bahl of Acculynk, BC Krishna of MineralTree, Bird Blitch of Secure Health Pay, Curt Wright of PerkStreet Financial and Kevin Lee of CRE Secure. This panel showcased the diversity of financial services technology innovation present in Atlanta and elsewhere on the East Coast.
Even the presentations that focused on regulatory reform reinforced messages around FinTech innovation. In a panel on Regulatory Changes and the New Economics of Payments, Steve Karp of SunTrust Bank said, “Durbin and [the]Card Act are forcing banks to rethink their business models.” Similarly, Madeleine Aufseeser of Aite Group shared her belief that “innovation is going to come out of this [regulation],” in her presentation, 2011 Update on Regulatory Changes and Top Trends in FinTech.